New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer lowered the boom Tuesday on one of the five telecom executives he accused of unfairly profiting on pre-IPO shares.

Qwest ( Q) founder and former Chairman Phil Anschutz agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle allegations stemming from a case involving so-called spinning. The practice refers to certain select executives' receipt of red-hot initial public offering shares underwritten by Citigroup's ( C) Salomon Smith Barney investment banking division.

Anschutz admitted no liability in the settlement. The payment will go to charities and represents the profits the exec reaped from selling the IPO shares.

The settlement comes as Qwest, under new management, faces a number of government inquiries and shareholder lawsuits related to the accounting and business practices of officers who have since left the company. Qwest shares have stabilized after a long bout with multiple scandals and liquidity squeezes. Qwest dropped 8 cents Tuesday to $4.49.

Spitzer's office is seeking to recoup a total of $28 million in profits the telecom executives reaped on those red-hot shares, according to the original lawsuit filed in September. These five executives were given the sweet stock deals to help encourage them to give Salomon their companies' investment banking business, the lawsuit charges.

Spitzer is seeking similar fines from former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, former Qwest chief Joe Nacchio, ex- McLeod Chairman Clark McLeod, and Stephen Garofalo, chairman of Metromedia Fiber.

Ebbers was apparently the biggest profiteer in the "spinning" arrangements with Salomon. Spitzer's office is looking for $11 million in fines from Ebbers.

As part of the $1.4 billion settlement with 14 Wall Street banking firms, the practice of spinning was forbidden. Brokerages and banks can no longer allocate IPO shares to executives who also do investment banking business with them.

The money recovered through the spinning settlement are expected to go to charity and an investor assistance fund.

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